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Sure, you could say that this question is the same as “how long is a piece of string?” and there’d be some truth in that.
But it’s not impossible to put some costs to a home recording studio and the truth is, you might be able to recreate a recording studio in your home for as little as $3-400 and if you want the same kind of setup as a professional recording studio then you’re probably looking at $10,000+.
So, let’s take a look at what goes into your own home recording studio and what your home studio might set you back.
Firstly, you don’t have to go overboard when building a home studio, there are, of course, essential purchases but you don’t need every single piece of kit that a professional studio or professional recording artists would need, either. So, we’re going to stick to the basics here to help you work out your home recording studio cost.
You have a lot of different options for microphones for your audio interface in today’s world – but you don’t need to buy them all.
While you might need multiple high-quality microphones, you should only buy what you need, professional studios tend to have more on hand because they never know what will be required on any given day – your project studio should have a clearer understanding of what you intend to do.
Don’t just think about the audio interface, ensure that you think about what sort of things you’ll be mixing music for. Vocals? Specific instruments? Get the right mic for the right job.
And then ensure that the recording process is simple by having some quality microphone stands available to work with, all music producers will tell you that a music studio is easier to run when it’s easy for you to start recording vocals or instruments without jerry-rigging a mic from the ceiling. Microphone stands are not an optional extra.
Feel free to make your own pop filters, etc. though. Saving money on your music studio isn’t as hard as you might think.
With a bit of luck, you already own a computer which you can share with your own home studio. (If not, check out these budget laptops for music production).
You do not need to spend a fortune on a computer to be able to run a digital audio workstation (DAW) (in fact, we have a handle list of the best digital audio workstations for PC and MAC here). This is the recording software and recording equipment for your audio tracks.
The main workhorse of a DAW is the processor and then the memory, so if you want to boost your specs a little for your computer – invest in those two things first.
Studio headphones or studio monitors?
Well, we think most home studio setups are going to benefit most from headphones (we’ve got some awesome studio headphones for mixing and recording here for you to check out).
While monitor speakers let you truly appreciate the sound waves that your work generates… they’re also bigger, bulkier, and can’t be isolated to stop them from disturbing other people in the house.
So headphones first, monitors and monitor stands second.
Perhaps, the most important part of setting up a professional home studio is the acoustic treatment that you use.
Most people will use acoustic foam as this is relatively cost-effective (you can cover about 12 square feet of wall for around $50-$60) and it’s fire-resistant as well as helping to stop the reverb within the sound stage.
You can opt for fiberglass panels for your home studio setup instead if you want, they are better for complete noise isolation nut as any music producer knows, they also cost 6-7 times more than acoustic foam panels do.
Then there’s a need for bass traps – these prevent bass from filling the studio and they’re not cheap. However, as you can see in any commercial studio they make a massive difference to the way a studio sounds.
You also need to consider additional ongoing costs for the studio.
Every now and again you’ll break something like a mic stand and need to replace it.
On the flip side, you may also think about savings you will make, such as no longer paying to rent a studio or commuting to and from a studio.
You really can spend as much, or as little as you like on a home studio.
If you already have a computer, you can get a free DAW to get started, use a USB audio interface to hook up a mic or two, and then start recording.
You can improve on it over time and as you can see, you can eventually end up investing $10,000 or more. But you don’t have to spend that upfront to start laying down tracks at home.